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Scramble for the Spheres:The Rules

Dr Moose Hunter, (University of Wallasey)

Clarky the Cruel (Supervillain,(retired)) ,The Unassailable Mr Jingo and Major George Dawes (late of the Acidalia Planitia Native Fencibles)

 

Present

 

Scramble for the spheres

(Mark IV)

The purposes of the entertainment

An interactive and competitive speculation upon the turn of world affairs should man have been capable of exploring the ether in the 19th century. Titles and Awards will be granted for the triumphs in a number of categories upon the games conclusion (you see I am not above briberyJ.) I propose we organise some dinner at the games conclusion to drink, eat and award these prizes.(So yes it does turn out to be an excuse for a drink.)

 

Krull the Conqueror award for the Most Martially successful

Lucretious Award for Most Material improvement

AD&D Thieves Guild award for backstabbing

Foxes award for cunning

Blackadder award for cunning but stupid

 

Our Band of Players

I have decided to focus our tale on the Great Powers of the age. This is not a story of minnows but of giants that stride and strut across the world stage. Hence I propose the following powers will be the puppets of our drama;

 

Austria-Hungary

France

Germany

Russia

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, British Empire

Our Playing Pieces

 

Each country shall have two players on representing the current government or Monarch and the other the opposition or heir to the Throne.

 

Austro-Hungarian Empire

The main player will be the Emperor and King Franz Joesph, his deputy and hopeful successor will be the Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Upon the beloved Kaiser’s death (this being settled by random event cards,) the Archduke will succeed to the throne and the former Emperor will begin to play the new Archduke and heir to the throne.

 

German Reich

The main player will be the Chancellor, his hopeful successor will be either the Crown Prince or an opposition politician (the successor player’s choice.) The Chancellor may fall to a death card or be dispatched by his Emperor after losing the confidence of the Reichstag. If a player Crown Prince should succeed to the throne he may choose to ‘drop the pilot’ in which case the Chancellor player may choose to become a opposition politician or the heir to the throne.

 

3rd Republic of France

The main player will be the President, his hopeful successor will be an opposition politician (the successor player’s choice.) The President may fall to a death card or fail to be re-elected in which case his opponent will ride to power. Should the opposition gain control of the Parliament then the two players will have to work together.

 

Russian Empire

The main player will be the Tsar, his hopeful successor will be either the Crown Prince. Should The Tsar may fall to a death card the Crown Prince will succeed to the throne and player of the former Tsar become the new Crown Prince.

 

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (and Empire)

The main player will be the Prime Minister, his hopeful successor will be an opposition politician (the successor player’s choice.) The Prime Minster may fall to a death card or fail to win a general election in which case his opponent will ride to power. Being defeated in house means the Queen calls another Prime Minister or there is a general election.

 

The entertainment’s Duration

The game shall last for a total of ten turns each of four ‘game’ years and in reality of four weeks. Order shall be mailed in at the end of the four week span followed by a four week ‘reaction’ period in which crises are resolved (or war’s terrible thunder is heard,) the Director of Entertainment calculates results. Hence our diplomatic drama will progress in eight-week increments, corresponding roughly to two of your Earth months.

 

The dates across which the game occurs is from the very start of 1876 with the entertainment being finished by the very start 1916. A most inauspicious year I am sure gentle readers will agree. The turns should unravel as follows

           

                                    In by                                        Returns by

Turn 1 – 1876-1879    1st Feb 2001                            1st March 2001

Turn 2 – 1880-1883    1st April 2001                          1st May 2001                                      

Turn 3 – 1884-1887    1st June 2001                           1st July 2001

Turn 4 – 1888-1891    1st August 2001                       1st September 2001                            

Turn 5 – 1892-1895    1st October 2001                     1st November 2001                 

Turn 6 – 1896-1899    1st December 2001                  1st January 2002

Turn 7- 1900-1903      1st Febuary 2002                     1st March 2002

Turn 8- 1904-1907      1st April 2002                          1st May 2002

Turn 9- 1908-1911      1st June 2002                           1st July 2002

Turn 10 – 1912-1916  1st August 2002                       1st September 2002

 

Which means the wrap party celebrations will be around my 29th Birthday (11th September 2002,) which suits me fine.

 

Currency

I am not a bean counter and have no desire to be so, hence I have decided to forsake the normal mechanisms of this kind of thing.

I am going to say that all the machinery of government etc; runs along quite happily on current income hence we do not interest ourselves with the maintenance costs of armies, fleets and spies and the like. The countries receive a Treasury and a disposable income (which is very small,) they may use this to expand their territories. These are given in gold and one gold is worth approximately a billion pounds by todays’ rating. If you go to war taxes must be raised which means they increase the discomfort of your people, so fight popular and short wars if you can.

Taxes cannot be raised to cover disposable income but conquests will.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Divers Expenditure

 

Exploration of Unmapped Reaches

An explorer costs 1 gold for year. This sounds expensive and is but when you take into account all the support the explorer needs in base camps, supply, ships etc it soon adds up. How much he actually explores and the accuracy of his exploration depends on your explorer’s personality. Also some people will just up and explore without any encouragement and now doubt get you stuck in all sorts of entanglements you didn’t want to bother with.

 

All the Kings Horses and All the King’s Men

A new Army Corps (approximately 30,000 men) costs 1 gold to build and takes 6 months to come on line. Britain cannot raise any additional home troops unless at war  or introducing conscription (please try and get that past parliament.)  An Army Corps also reduces disposable income by 1 gold (unless you raise taxes to cover the expansion.) A Cavalry Corps cost the same but has about half the men.

 

A corps consists of two divisions each of 2 brigades and each brigade of 2 regiments. Therefore one corps equals 8 regiments.

 

 If armies advance in uncharted climes with no explorers having checked the lie of the land they are liable to suffer horrible diseases, be destroyed by lost cities of Roman pygmies etc;

 

The High Seas

A fleet (4 Battleships and escorts) costs 2 gold to build and takes four years to be available. It also reduces disposable income by a gold unless you raise taxes to cover it.

 

The wild blue yonder

A fleet (4 lifted battleships and escorts) costs 4 gold to build and takes four years to become available. That cost would half if you had direct access to liftwood. It also reduces disposable income by 2 gold unless you raise taxes to cover it. But that figures is also halved by access to liftwood.

Zepplin Fleets are cheap a mere gold to build and a gold taken off disposable income. They do tend to explode if shot at though. If one has no access to Mars and no player power on Mars is prepared to trade they are all you’ve got to go with.

 

The Final Frontier

 At construction any Zepplin or Liftwood Fleet maybe built as Ether Flyers for the cost of an additional gold. They do not cost anymore to run.

 

Fortunes of War

Successful conquest of territory will increase disposable income (and your chance of winning the Krull the Conqueror Award)

 

 

The Great Game

All nations have spy agencies running at optimum efficiency for the country concerned. One does not spend gold to improve them. You can have a clearout of your domestic or foreign intelligence services that will remove most bad eggs (lazy spies, double agents etc;) BUT it will leave the agency ineffective for an entire four-year cycle (no information for that time.)

 

Modern Day Hectors and Achilles

As this is a heroic age you may each choose a hero for your nation. Whether a military genius, two-fisted foe of spies, scientitfic wunderkind or whatever. They will have adventures, and stuff. You cannot direct them but they can prove useful in conflicts.

 

Technological Marvels of the Modern Age

Players will not design aircraft or commission inventions. However one can request that the Patriotic Scientist furnish them with suggestions on a theme (i.e. Weather, Death Rays or ballistics.)   One does not pay gold for this and it means that if an invention is pulled from the intention deck your country develops it if it is part of your theme.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FORCES OF PLAY AT THE START OF OUR ENTERTAINMENT

 

AUSTRIA-HUNGARY

1 coastal protection fleet

16 Corps

 

Treasury                    :           1

Disposable Income  :           4

 

BRITAIN

8 Fleets, 1 Liftwood Fleet (Mars), 1 Liftwood Ether Flyer Fleet

British Army -1 Corps (Britan and Ireland)         

1 Corps (India)

1 Corps (Empire- Regiment on Mars, Regiment in Canada,

Regiment on the Gold Coast, Regiment in Ceylon,

Regiment on British Guyana, Regiment on Gibraltar 

Regiment at Cape Colony, Regiment in Natal)

Indian Army – 4 Infantry Corps

                        Cavalry Corps

 

Treasury                    :           4

Disposable Income  :           8

Only Britain and the French have access to liftwood at this time.

 

FRANCE

4 Fleets, 1 Liftwood Ether Flyer Fleet

14 Corps

1 Corps (Empire – 6 Regiments in Algeria, Regiment in French Guyana, Regiment on Mars)

 

Treasury                    :           2

Disposable Income  :           8

Only Britain and the French have access to liftwood at this time.

 

GERMANY

1 fleet Baltic, 1 Zepplin Ether Flyer Fleet

24 Corps

Treasury                    :           3

Disposable Income  :           8

 

RUSSIA

1 fleet Baltic, 1 fleet Black Sea, 1 Zepplin Ether Flyer Fleet

45 Corps

(20 Germany-Austrian Border, 20 Turkish, 3 Swedish, 1 Chinese, 1 Central Asia)

Treasury                    :           1

Disposable Income  :           4

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